InterPlanetary File System

IPFS (the InterPlanetary File System) is a new hypermedia distribution protocol, addressed by content and identities.

IPFS enables the creation of completely distributed applications. It aims to make the web faster, safer, and more open.

IPFS is a distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files.

In some ways, this is similar to the original aims of the Web, but IPFS is actually more similar to a single bittorrent swarm exchanging git objects.

You can read more about its origins in the paper IPFS – Content Addressed, Versioned, P2P File System.

IPFS is becoming a new major subsystem of the internet.

If built right, it could complement or replace HTTP.

It could complement or replace even more. It sounds crazy. It is crazy.

Here’s how IPFS works

Let’s take a look at what happens when you add files to IPFS:
Each file and all of the blocks within it are given a unique fingerprint called a cryptographic hash.
IPFS removes duplications across the network.
Each network node stores only content it is interested in, and some indexing information that helps figure out who is storing what.
When looking up files, you’re asking the network to find nodes storing the content behind a unique hash.
Every file can be found by human-readable names using a decentralized naming system called IPNS.

More info:

IPFS – White paper